Last month we kicked off the Kickstarter Do’s and don’ts series with the KICKSTARTER DO’S AND DON’TS #1. This time we are picking up where we left off and sharing some more of our experiences. As we are a board game manufacturing company, we tend to see things from the other side of the table. As board game enthusiasts ourselves we have of course also experienced a Kickstarter as a backer. Some of our staff has even ran a Kickstarter themselves for one of their private projects. But overall, the vast majority of our experience comes from the manufacturing side. So without further ado, Boda Games will show you some of the do’s and don’ts that we’ve observed over the years.
Discuss your components with your account manager! Last time we discussed getting an itemized quotation. With an itemized quotation, you can tweak your project and make configurations with different components. Maybe you find that the price of the game is a bit higher than you were aiming for, or you find out that all those special finishes on different paper components do add up quite a bit. And you had a certain manufacturing cost in mind. A price that lets you run a Kickstarter campaign the way you want it.
When you discuss your components with your account manager, they can help you think of different options. Your account manager deals with games and the various components lists on a daily basis. They have seen the clever ways in which people translate a concept to a set of components. Maybe you were thinking about components, but after weighing the options an account manager will recommend cardboard standees instead. Or perhaps your account manager suggests a different grade of card stock to help you get closer to your projected budget. And there is a good chance that we have a great looking standard plastic item for you instead of a custom one with high tooling costs. And instead, we turn the custom plastic item into a stretch goal. With board game components, we believe that there are many roads that lead to Rome.
If your campaign really starts picking up momentum and you get more backers, then more stretch goals get unlocked. Great! The comments section is blowing up and so many backers have ideas and suggestions for your game. New stretch goals that they ask for like changes in components, or adding more and new components. These can be great suggestions and even better additions to your game. But sometimes people get so excited and want to please their backers so much, they forget about the bigger picture. More than once we’ve heard the phrase “we’ve promised the backers…” without realizing what they had promised them. Or without the time to do the calculations and consult with the manufacturing company.
A campaign was going through one stretch goal after another and did so much better than the creator had ever hoped for. So they started adding “easy” stretch goals, such as thicker cardboard for the game boards. But with the amount of game boards in the box, those millimeters started to add up. And then the box couldn’t close anymore, so we had to increase the box size. But then the entire game was larger than planned, which meant they had to use larger shipping boxes at a higher shipping rate. These are small details but as you can see, one of them can set off a domino effect that might end up being more than you initially planned for.
Another project did so well, that they managed to fund the ultimate “never thought we would get there” stretch goal of miniatures instead of standees. And although the designer of the game had gotten quotations for miniatures, he had forgotten that miniatures take up more space than cardboard standees. A lot more. The game box had to be adjusted and the shipping costs increased as a result. And this is not just limited to miniatures, adding more components always means you need to make sure it all still fits inside the box. Especially for Kickstarter games, where often certain box sizes are chosen to keep the shipping costs to a minimum, this can prove to be a problem. So remember to also account for the other factors besides the price when planning stretch goals.